Neftali Feliz: Closer today, beyond?

Updated: July 24, 2014, 4:17 PM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

NEW YORK -- At least for one day, the Texas Rangers anointed Neftali Feliz as their closer.

Feliz was put in that role for Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Yankees but didn't get a chance to earn a save as the Rangers lost their series finale against New York 4-2. Texas traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night for two pitching prospects.

Feliz was a dominant force as Texas' closer in 2010 and 2011 before being moved to the starting rotation.

"If there's an opportunity, I would like to become the closer again," Feliz said. "I did it for a couple of years, and I will take advantage of the opportunity and do the best that I can."

Manager Ron Washington said he's unsure whether Feliz can close on consecutive days. It will depend on the number of pitches he throws in a given appearance, but Washington thinks Feliz is ready to do it.

"I'm going to give him the ball and tell him to do what he feels he needs to do with it," Washington said. "This is what, Neftali's fifth year? I can't motivate Neftali. That [being the closer again] should motivate him enough. You got a chance to close and that's what it is, a chance."

Feliz is 0-1 with a 2.61 ERA since he was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on July 4 to work out of the bullpen. After allowing a home run to Melky Cabrera in Sunday's loss to Toronto, Feliz has retired the past eight hitters he's faced.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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